Friday, 11 February 2011

My Big Fat Publishing Experience

Today I am going to be totally honest about my experience of being a writer. 

It’s sometimes a heartbreaking profession. I’ve cried—sobbed so hard I couldn’t breathe—I’ve sighed, I’ve got angry at myself (edits will do that to you!), I’ve wanted to scream because at times, when learning to be an editor, I just did not “get” those damn clauses and dangling modifiers and all those horrible, pesky little things we need to know. I’ve put my head on the desk and just felt worthless, depressed, shit. I’ve wandered around the house feeling the same. Allowed my dream to take over my life. Allowed people to upset me. I have upset others. Been taken the piss out of, talked about, reamed, accused of plagiarism—Jeez, all manner of things that made me want, several times, to shut off this computer and walk away, never to return. No word to anyone, just go. Fuck this for a laugh.

Sound familiar?

Sales: I’ll share my experience. Obviously it won’t be the same for everyone. To get straight to the point, and I’ve said this before, I don’t make much money from writing. Back in the day, when I first started writing, money didn’t even enter my head. I wrote because I wanted to, I loved it, and it was just something I “did”. Then I got to know authors, was privileged enough to be on the inside of a few publishing companies—via editing and cover art—to see how a publishing company works. I saw sales—or not—how trends worked, how everything worked, from submissions to published tales. Then making money from writing seemed an option.

Some people make big money at this gig—and no, I’m not mentioning any names! I have been studying the way things work this past year. For those of you who know me from “way back then”, you’ll know I made last year my “get published shitloads of times” year. I shut myself away, barely emailed a soul. It was just something I felt I had to do. Something for me. Without getting out the violins, all my life I’ve given, given, given to others—mostly my choice, oftentimes not—and I was stubborn, dug my heels in, and was what some might see as selfish. I don’t see it that way. I took time out, did something I wanted to do for the first time ever (on such a big scale anyway), and it felt good.

I gave myself a goal of publishing 20 books. I exceeded it. Job done, yay me, whatever. I had a blast too. The reason for this insane amount of writing last year—and at the last count it was 425K; not bragging, just stating the facts, ma’am—was to see if having lots of books out there increased sales. It’s common sense, right? To have many books out there means you’ll rake in the cash eventually, yes?

No, it doesn’t.

I will admit that some royalties made, and still make, me laugh so hysterically that I border/ed on looking like some nutter in an institution. If I didn’t laugh I would cry. All that hard work, all that fucking effort, for something like $3 a month sometimes.

I’m not joking.

So, I had been very depressed at that three bucks, especially because it came from a place where you’d think that once you’re published there you’re loaded. It’s a myth, guys! I see every publisher the same now. It’s not the name of the place you’re published at that makes sales, trust me. It’s a combination of many things, I suspect, if we wanted to look at it in an analytical way so we knew what to do and how, so WE could then make big money like those who do, but as with all things in life, what works for one person may not work for you and me.

There we are, flapping around in a sea full of others flapping too. Some aren’t flapping. No, they’re swimming strong, know their direction to shore, and some even have the luxury—be it from hard work (and bloody good for them too, because they deserve the rewards) or sheer luck; right place, right time etc.—of a yacht coming to collect them to save them even swimming. Good on them, much respect going their way, no animosity whatsoever. Now. In the past I railed it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t this, it wasn’t that, but shit, as you mature you realise that what other people are doing distracts you from doing what YOU’RE meant to be doing. So, Bright Sunrise makes loads of money. So what? And it IS fair that she does because she’s worked hard, writes the books, has found that magic formula or whatever.

It is fair.

Saying that, I now believe there IS no magic formula. Some are destined to win through hard work, some aren’t. Some are destined to win by fate, some aren’t. Some aren’t flapping but swimming—but getting nowhere fast. Treading water, unable to do what’s necessary to move forward. The currents are against them. It just doesn’t matter to me anymore whether I “make” it. I’m tired of trying to understand it all. I had the dream, no longer have it, of becoming a household name in books. We've all had that dream. Our books as movies etc., and you know what? I don’t want it. Truly, not deep down. If it means having to be something I’m not, to do things I detest doing, being uncomfortable with who I’d become, wishing I could get the old me back, all to have people fawn over me, thinking I’m this person I’m not, using me for my brand, what I can do for them… No. Thank. You.

We’re all people, whether we’re “famous” in this little e-publishing world or not. We all shit, eat, sleep, fuck, hate, like, love, dislike. Putting a sash on that says “best-selling author who everyone loves and adores and swarms around and pats on the back and licks their arsehole so much their nose is permanently brown” is not ME. I don’t speak to people who are “famous” any differently than I do those who aren’t. You’re all the same to me. I couldn’t give a toss whether you earn $7,000 a month, $50,000 per year writing ebooks—and yes, there are people out there who earn that; please don’t shit yourself on my carpet or throw up on the sofa; the bathroom’s that way—because earning that money doesn’t make them any different to authors who make fuck all. All it means is the high earners can afford holidays, nice things etc.—BUT THEY ARE STILL PEOPLE! If they gad about like they’re royalty and I’m beneath them, I don’t want to know them anyway.

Good advice would be to drop the “I’m famous” mantle when dealing with me, because it just doesn’t wash. Also, I’ve noticed since becoming Natalie Dae, that people treat ME differently, giving me the time of day they wouldn’t had I not been published by Ellora’s Cave. Thanks! [Sarcasm intended—I clearly wasn’t worth knowing pre-EC.] Please, stop it. I’m still this person. I’m not some woman elevated in status because a publisher decided they liked my books. You want to talk to me, talk to me because I’m me, but be prepared for getting a response from a boring old cow who sits here day after day at her computer either writing or creating graphic art. Just me.

I was just about to go further into a rant about brands and how being attached to one makes you “different” but I won’t. It’d be ugly. I dislike it immensely.

So, after that interlude of something I clearly needed to get off my chest, let’s get back on track.

Some people make good money at ABC, some don’t. Some people make good money at XYZ—and God, aren’t I just being so original with my publisher names here? LOL—and some don’t. It’s a lottery. It doesn’t matter how big the publisher is, there are far too many other elements to consider when it comes to sales. The publisher can only do so much, then it’s up to you to build your name. There are so many authors out there it isn’t surprising most of us fall by the wayside. The stampede to reach the top is too much for me, I've realised. I’d rather just stroll along nicely, stop along the way to eat an ice cream, have a sunbathe. You know, chill a bit.

Promotion: Does it really work? So far, in my experience, no. I have an “experiment” going on right now with a friend, and if the type of promo we’re doing still makes no difference, then you know what? Fuck promotion up its soul-destroying arse, because promotion costs time and money—I don’t have either to waste, neither does my friend.

Blog posts, blog tours, scavenger hunts, dropping links on groups, adding promo to the end of normal, everyday blog posts, paid advertising, sending books out for review, dropping links to our books/reviews/whatevers on Facebook and the like,—it’s just something we DO, a time-consuming effort to build the brand, to be noticed among the thousands of other people doing exactly the same thing. It works for many but fails for many too.

Myself and my friend are TIRED, but we’ll see this experiment through until the end, because there’s a burning desire to know, once and for all, whether promotion actually works.

Getting your “brand” out there: This involves being a member of several groups and online networking sites. The only one I indulge in now is Facebook. I work mainly from my Emmy Ellis page, because that’s me and exactly who I am from day to day. I can’t be all people all of the time, meaning Sarah Masters and Natalie Dae (Charley Oweson is asleep right now). It’s too exhausting, too time consuming. I used to think they were separate parts of me, cocooned in their different worlds, far removed from who I am as Emmy, but I came to realise they’re not. They are all me, they just write with different voices, in different genres, and I found that keeping the bits of me all apart was making me depressed not to mention insane. I now don’t give a monkeys who knows I’m all of these people—I mean really, who the hell cares? What does it matter in the grand scheme of things? For those who are not aware of many personas, here they all are:

Charley Oweson (formerly M. E. Ellis) – horror writer
Natalie Dae – Het author
Sarah Masters – m/m author
Owner of Miz Love Loves Books – review site
PoshGosh, cover artist 
Emmy Ellis – me, editor, proofreader, mother, nanny, daughter, sister, wife, blah-de-blah-blah-blah

Getting your brand out there brings the risk, quite frankly, of getting on people’s tits. You join in on the conversations, bring your own experiences and opinions to the table, boost other authors, congratulate them, sit using up valuable time that could be spent writing, by shooting the shit with other people who are doing exactly the same thing as you—all out there pushing their brand. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some effing brilliant friends by being on these groups and sites and I wouldn’t change having been an active member on them for the world because of that alone, but, jaded as it might sound, I didn’t relish sitting there bullshitting with hundreds of people just so my name was “seen” by…other authors! We don’t want to just target other authors, do we? Yes, authors are also readers, and yes, they may well buy our books, but for Pete's sake, think about it: Why are we pushing ourselves at other authors who, if we were all honest and came out stating what we earned, can’t justify the expenditure on others' books anyway?
Readers, those who are loyal to the written word, are the ones we’re supposed to target, but, if you’re like me, I hate “pushing” myself at people. It feels like that to me, anyway. That I’m saying, “Hey, you there! I’m talking to you, and I really do give a shit about what you’re saying—and I do!— that you broke your leg and your dog just shat on your neighbour’s lawn and your neighbour is banging on your window, irate as hell and gunning for you, but are you going to buy my book or what?” It’s a horrible way to go about it, a horrible feeling, something that may well only be a thing I feel, but feel it I do. Also, who the buggering hell wants to listen to me warble on anyway? And NO, absolutely-bloody-no, I’m not saying that so people will say, “Oh, Em, we want to listen to you.” NO! I’m saying it because God, I wouldn’t want to listen to me if I wasn’t me, so why the hell would anyone else?

All these feelings, these worries and insecurities, make Emmy Ellis crap at promotion. I’ve done it, am doing it, and in the past have seen NO CHANGE in sales. So, like I said, this last experiment, and then I’m done. Either people will read my books or they won’t. I will NOT break my heart over whether they don’t. Nope, just won’t do it anymore. It hurts, and why the eff would I want to hurt myself intentionally?

Reviews: Oh, gone are the days when I shit myself over them, when the link makes my guts roll and I’m excited as hell to see what someone thought of my book. Now I ignore them if possible. The ONLY time I read them is if a friend sends me the link saying the review is good. The last time someone sent me a link to a bad one and said I ought to read it—it was a bad one, very, very bad—was because it was so bad they knew it could damage me/my brand. That person quite rightly knew I should know about it, and I went along to read all about how shit my book was, how it was incorrect in places—Research, do your research, Sarah Masters, for in my opinion you know fuck all!

You know what I thought? Aww, leave me the hell alone, there’s a dear. I’m not here to step on anyone’s toes, to overtake anyone’s genre, I just. Want. To. WRITE.

My book was apparently porn. It was so bad that it should never have been published, if the reviewer was to be believed. And that book was so bad, so snark-worthy, that they bought the second book and trashed that too. I had, in my opinion, written a book that stepped on a few toes and it wasn’t acceptable. At the time, I felt they were saying I’d written in a genre that I wasn’t aware belonged solely to them, that they were implying I ought to step away from the keyboard, away from their genre, and hide my arse. They may well not have thought/meant that, and they had the absolute right to express how they felt about my books, but their reviews taught me something: Don’t read reviews ever again if you can help it. What you don’t see doesn’t hurt you. Don’t give someone else the power to upset you—if they didn’t like your book, tough shit.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read your reviews. I’m just talking about me and mine. They just make me shudder when Google alert informs me I have one, and I close the email and forget about it.

Anyway, we’ve all heard it: Reviews are just one person’s opinion.

Besides, it’s our fault they have our books to review anyway. We wrote them, we chose this profession, so therefore we must expect, when something of ours is out there to be picked at, to receive some negative responses. It becomes clear when reviewers are out to purposely harm, clear when they haven't actually read your book properly (I had a review where the reader admitted to skimming then said things didn't make sense. Perhaps because she skimmed and missed the information she needed, hmm?) and you get to work out which ones are genuine in their constructive criticism—that’s the key words right there!—as opposed to those who have fun reaming your arse in public because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day, your book didn’t do anything for them, and rather than put it down when they first decided it was the biggest pile of shit they’d ever read, they continued, reading every painful word, putting themselves through misery—are they fucking NUTS?—in order to tell anyone who reads the review how much they HATED your tale.

Whatever. Floats. Their. Boat.

At one time, bad reviews hurt, made my cheeks get so hot they itched, made me want to cry, but now? Hell no. You don’t like my book? Shame, that. Move on and buy someone else’s, someone you DO like, because spending money on mine, wasting precious hours of your life—which, let’s face it, is very short when you get all maudlin and think about such things—is just plain silly, isn't it? This author no longer gives a crap whether a reviewer spews vitriol about her work. It’s a “shrug” kind of response these days. An “Ah, well, better luck with the next book you pick up. I’ll still be writing whether you like me or not, because I want to, I love it, and it makes me happy. That my books don’t give you the same warm, fuzzy feeling as they gave me is unfortunate, but shit, there are so many books out there you can get the warm fuzzies from, that fucking up by reading mine will soon fade in your memory.”

So, if you get good reviews, I’m genuinely pleased for you. If you don’t, just don’t sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s just one knockdown of many we’ll all receive in this crazy career we’ve chosen. Expect it, know it’s coming, and then you won’t be disappointed.

So where am I now?

This year is art year. I did the manic writing thing, now I’m easing back. Still writing when I have time but it isn’t my main focus. Graphic art is another of my loves, I’ve discovered, and fate showed me the way in December on this subject. As with writing, making money on cover art isn’t something you can expect unless the publisher pays flat fees per cover. If the book you created the cover for sells, great, you make some money, but if it doesn’t, well, you don’t.
As with writing, I create covers because I love it. I haven’t really been pissed off with not making much money. I’ve created numerous covers for free, numerous blog revamps for free, numerous icons, avatars, banners—you name it, I’ve done it, because it felt RUDE to charge.

How mad is that? To feel rude for charging for my time, effort, and yes, money I spend on some pictures I’ve used. I’m a seriously odd person like that, but I didn’t want to charge authors for something I myself would have wanted but couldn’t have due to not earning enough royalties to cover the charge. People want a nice blog, a nice cover, and the rates people charge—and I only realised this recently, had never looked into the prices on stuff like this before—is EXTORTIONATE! I would feel even ruder asking for that kind of cash.

So, I generally work for free. And please, much as I’d love to help you out prettifying your sites and whatnot, I can’t now. I’ve had to stop doing free work for people, not because I can’t ask for payment and it makes me feel uncomfortable when I’m offered payment, but because I just do not have the time. Close friends, that’s different. People I’ve done sites for in the past, that’s different. The small jobs I’m asked to do on those sites is related to what I did in the past and all comes under that umbrella. It’s new projects I can’t do—unless I offer them, and when I do it means I have a lull going on.

(A lull? What the fuck is THAT?)

Anyway, as I’ve been prattling on about sales in writing, I may as well touch a bit more on sales in cover art. I’ve mentioned the royalty version. Now we come to the flat fee version. Some e-publishers pay anything from $50-$300 a pop per cover. I knew about this but never approached any of them because I didn’t feel they'd want me. Friends told me to apply, but I didn’t. Now we come to where fate stepped in. I got a contract with a publisher for a short ménage, and I wrote to my editor asking if I was allowed to provide my own cover, which I sent to her. Some publishers let you, some don’t. Anyway, the length of my book meant I would get a generic cover, but the publisher wrote and chatted with me about my artwork and asked if I would like to work for her. She mentioned flat fees, and because my experience with that company had been brilliant on the writing side of things, I agreed to do cover art there.

This has drastically changed our life. Without going into my private details, flat fees make one hell of a difference. On some books I might lose out—the royalties, had I been paid this way, will well outshine the flat fee, but on other books I will have come out on top. This suits me fine. I love working with this publisher, get along well with the owner, and I’m happy to say that at last things seem to be going right for us.

WIPs

I have a few WIPs sitting in files. There are three I really want to finish because they’ve been promised to publishers, but there is no great desire in me to write like a fiend anymore. Perhaps it’s because I have the art thing going on, or perhaps I’ve got a block somewhere because writing and having very few read your work is a tad disheartening and kinda makes me not want to bother any longer. Oh, I’ll still write, but the raging fire for it has gone. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. I am happy, can say I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time, and to me that’s more important than anything. If I’m happy, Hubby and my kids are happy.

Have I grown up?

So I wonder, have I finally grown up? Have I seen the light on what life is really all about? That what truly matters is happiness? I have no idea, I really don’t, but right now I feel I’m in the place I was meant to be all along and that everything I went through before this was for a reason. I needed to understand the publishing world, to be on the groups, to try and promo, to learn the craft, to work my arse off. It all gave me the perspective I have now, led me to where I am now. Just because my dream with writing hasn’t come true, it doesn’t mean my art one won’t. The art avenue has already fulfilled everything I could have hoped for, and I bless the day my short ménage was rejected elsewhere and I chose to sub to where it landed up. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be where I am. Fate. I believe in it.

So it wasn’t all a waste of time.

No, it wasn’t. Like I said, I needed to do what I’ve done. It’s given me experience of life, of people, and I’ve made some damn good friends. I look back at my achievements and realise that even though stardom and riches didn’t come from penning my books, the fact that I have many published is a dream fulfilled in itself. Some people dream of just having one out there, so I’ll stop griping and be pleased with doing what I have.

The girl who thought she’d never amount to anything did good.

28 comments:

Kim Smith said...

Wow. This was like reading my own post. I have never written it. I have certainly never been as prolific as you, but even with the few works I have out there, it was easy to see that I wouldn't make a living at writing.

We do it for the experience, I guess? I mean I have quit-plain old given up on writing so many times, then another one floods my brain and I am off and going.

The difference for me now is, I don't write to be published. I did give up on that. I write for myself, for my grandkids (to be one day:)) for my kids, should I up and leave this world. If any go out in a published world, well, awesome. If not, no worries.

My photography is like your graphic work. It's the stuff that makes me most excited. It's because visually, people get us a lot faster, and their reaction is a lot more honest.

Thanks for this Em. And thanks for the miracles you have made into covers. I have one :)
kim

Sonya said...

Aw, Emmy!!! (((hugs)))

All this has been in my head, too. Promo is a humongous waste of time... it's just not worth the effort. I don't do it any more. Nor do I read reviews (unless, like you, someone sends me a link to one). The pub loops and boards are a HUGE thing - no one says it, but really, it's all just a big circle jerk, trying to get other authors to buy your stuff. What's the point? Blech, I say, to the whole mess.

I'm sad that you won't be writing as much (but glad you're not giving up entirely) - because you're brilliant. I love all your stuff, and most especially your horror work, which I say is right up there in the calibre of Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

And I know, too, that my saying that sucks. I've felt it myself - people tell me 'Oh, you're so talented!' and I'm like, 'if I'm so effing talented, why aren't I rich?' Sigh. But I HAD to say it, because it's true - and maybe talent doesn't pay the bills, but you have buckets.

You're also a fabulous artist, so I'm very happy to hear that you've got an arrangement with that which makes you happy!

Luv you, Emmy. Thank you for this awesome post, and for being brave enough to say all the things most of us are thinking anyway.

(and hi Kim! Small world, this epub bit, isn't it? LOL)

Tess MacKall said...

I'm of a mind to quit. Not because of what you've written, but because if this mountain can't be climbed to some degree of success--why climb it?

Writing is hard work. It's a lonely job. You shut yourself off from family and friends to live inside your head. After a while, it stands to reason there should be some reward.

Now I understand that there are those out there who say they will continue to write even if there is no money coming in. Uhhh...not me. I love writing, but if I'm going to do it for free, then I'll just upload titles on my site and let people read for free. Why go through a publisher and deal with edits and such? Makes no sense to me.

Now with the woes of print publishing in NY, there are thousands more authors out there just waiting to get into e publishing--which is where I'm published--the industry I personally have believed in all along. So competition for attention to your work is getting harder and harder.

I'll promote my butt off--for a while--but at some point you have to stop tossing good money and hard work down the well.

And I honestly think where promotions are concerned, this says it all:

"ARE YOU GOING TO BUY MY BOOK OR WHAT?"

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

C. Zampa said...

Wow. I'm not sure what kind of freak I am in the publishing world. When I received my contract--honest to God---it had not even occurred to me that I WOULD get paid for my book until I looked at the section that inquired HOW I wanted to be paid, by Paypal or check. I really had not written for that reason.

So, in turn, I'm fumbling at promo. I don't know how to promo, and there are just certain things I will not do. For me, it is NOT about money. Never was, never will be. And that's the truth. Being contracted was one of the biggest thrills of my life, but---even so---was not about the money. I'll never be rich from this, but I will do it anyway.

There were so many points to your blog, I can't even begin to address them, but the promo part I addressed because it seems to be the one thing about this process that I have trouble with. Whether it's lack of confidence or just no desire to be famous or rich, I don't know. But it promo'ing is going to be the chink in my armor, I can already tell.

C. Zampa said...

One more thing, Nat.

You HAVE done some wonderful things for me. But please know I adore you for who YOU are, because---as I keep telling you---you're an angel. And not because of what you do for me or others (although that's appreciated, too, more than you can know), but because your heart is so beautiful.

Natalie Dae said...

Hiya Kim, love.

Yep, we'll keep writing because we love it. And you're right about writing for grandkids etc. We'll have left something behind, a tangible thing they can see that will let them know we lived and breathed and still do through those words. Just writing for that makes it worth it, doesn't it.

Thanks for stopping by and slogging through that long post. It's been brewing for a long time.

:O)

Natalie Dae said...

Sonya, my deary, meeting you was one of the highlights, becoming pals and all that business, so writing wasn't all for nowt. And your blurb is still on Samuhell (Five Pyramids), which I'm self-pubbing. Might be mental doing that, but I only want them on my shelf, don't care if no one buys them.

I've been asking myself whether to go back to the horror (thank you for the Koontz and King comment; made my pigging day--also made me cry, you bugger!) but told myself it didn't work the first time so why repeat myself.

I dunno, I'm just going to stroll, eat that ice cream, sunbathe, and see what happens next. Too tired of it all to even be bothered these days. Sad but true.

The saddest part is the fire going out of my belly. I miss that. Miss the hope, the stars in my eyes, but hey, we all have to grow up sometime.

But, I have your fabulous book on my shelf, and God, you should be rich based on your talent (gush, gush, you're fucking ACE!) and to have got to that point, love, just that alone is a marvellous thing to have achieved, so bloody well done.

Love you, pal. Muchly. HUG.

Natalie Dae said...

Glad you got a laugh, Tess. Bless ya.

Yep, that mind to quit rears up every so often, and you know I well understand what you're saying/feeling. I'm not going to tell you what to do either way. It's got to be your choice, whatever makes you happy.

I think we're both just plain knackered, to be honest, been too busy to smell the roses, so the saying goes. I'm stopping to smell them this weekend. I see me doing much of fuck all on the horizon.

LOL

Love you!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Carol, it was the same for me, still is with regards to the money. I didn't start out wanting it, but because others were making cash, when you see you're not (meaning me seeing it), it kind of makes you wonder WHY you're not and they are. I wondered if I was doing something wrong, if my books were shit, whether me as a person put people off buying them. Too many questions to count.

Ah, the joys of this business. LOL

Big hugs!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Em, Sarah, Natalie, Charley...doesn't matter what pen name you go by...you've always been the same to me. You were one of the first to tell me my writing didn't suck. That I had talent. You made me believe that I COULD write. Thank you for that. :)

As far as promo? From the get GO, I've felt like a piranha in a tank with many other piranha's feeding off each other. No way will we ever make a difference, or get our names out there in groups which mostly consist of other authors. Sure, we read, but I want to target true readers. Online, there's little hope for that. Any reader's group is flooded with authors, and it finally becomes just authors. No interaction with the people we most want to reach.

I've been fighting depression for the past two years. Partly because the royalties we receive most quarters is a joke. Many of us struggle for months on end to write a story, others spit one out in days. Either way, we should make more than just enough to buy a loaf of bread. :( I'm not stupid enough to think I'll ever get rich, but a decent monthly income would be nice.

The key thing about promoting to me is, publishers need to invest a little more into their authors. In doing so, they're bottom line would also increase. The more we sell, the more they make. If they're not willing to try, why should we?

Laura G. said...

Bravo, luv, Bravo! Couldn't have said it better myself. Everything you've been through, everything you've done... And good on you for the cover job! Just so freaking proud of you. You are one freaking amazing chick.
Big Hugs from one boring, old cow to another :)

Natalie Dae said...

Lisa, I understand you totally. And what crushes me at times, when I let myself think about it, is people with talent like yours...Jesus Christ, you deserve to have your books read and loved. It's criminal that so many very talented people aren't being read as they should be. It makes me angry, sad, and all things in between.

But writing for you is more than the money, I know that, and that's why I don't think you'll ever give up. I hope you never do.

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

LMAO Laura. Yeah, we're a pair of boring old cows, eh? Still, I'd rather moo in a boring manner than not have experienced this ride. It's brought many great friends--hugs to you--and that in itself was worth every tear, every GRR, and every naughty word I shouted at my monitor. LOL!

:o)

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Oh wow! I think I'm leaking. lol. Big hugs, Em.

No, you're right. Writing for me is more than just making money, and I'd write anyway. But, it would be nice if I could just sit at the computer eating bon bons and typing away with no money worries. teehee. But I live in the here and now and do need the income. Most of us do.

I hope you or Tess never quit writing either. You ladies are two of the most talented authors I know.

Natalie Dae said...

LOL Leak away, Lisa. Tis sad at times, but we plug on. We must be mental.

:o)

Lily Harlem said...

Where to begin?

I'm relatively new to this crazy publishing business and you, my lovely lady, have been one of the best friends I could have possible made during the craziness of lately. You're experienced, a great editor, fab artist and awesome author,

I read your post desperate for you to say you were happy - and you did. Phew! And so true, mum happy so is hubby and kids!

Your art is great with a capital 'G' and the books of yours I've read have had me gripped - also with a capital 'G'.

Sometimes fire goes from our bellies for a while, but it comes back, just sometimes it needs to smoulder while the dust settles.

Promo - you said what every one is thinking!

Consider yourself virtually hugged dear friend.

Regina Carlysle said...

You know it strikes me that everything is just a journey. Sometimes the very thing we want isn't the thing we need. I detest promotion and I think everyone does. I've reached the point I do very little of it really. I blog in a couple of places and do fb. That's about it. No blog tours, no constant 'dropping a comment' on one loop or another. I think it was in early 2009 that I basically said 'fuck this' and stopped. It was making me crazy. I have my friends, I embrace them and love them, not for how many books they might sell or not sell. Writing is a lonely business and I need them for my sanity, for fun, for a connection that is missing from my life. I know perfectly well, too, there are those who will use you for varying reasons. You can't help feeling sometimes these individuals would NOT be your friend if they only realized that I really can't help anyone. It's up to us all to help ourselves.I'm actually blessed to know who my real friends ARE. That's a big deal. So glad you are one of them, Em. So glad.

Posh said...

Ah, my dear Lily. See, if I'd have given up writing a year ago when I was going to, I would never have met you. These things happen for a reason, and I'm really glad of the many fab friends I've gained on this journey. It's been a great experience, one that will continue, just at a slower pace, with me more laid back because I've accepted that some things are just not meant to be for me.

New pastures and all that. I'm just glad to be munching that bright green grass instead of the dry hay.

It's like a weight has dropped off my shoulders. Enlightenment does that to you, eh? I kind of feel freed from prison--a prison of my own making.

Love ya!

:O)

Posh said...

And that's me above, Lily. I'm doing cover art so have that email account open. Hmmm, the name is so not me LMAO!

:o)

Posh said...

It is a journey, Reg, and even though we think we're on a certain path because the destination is where we want to be, a side road comes along, one we'd have missed if we hadn't been on the original road, one we had to travel to get to that side road, if that makes sense?

I don't regret any of it, but I do regret allowing myself to get so upset over things. A waste of energy and also made me terribly unhappy.

Still, that's all gone now.

And I met you, so it was worth it!

:o)

Faith said...

As you well know, Emmy, we relate to one another in life, family, and publishing/art so much it's frightening, lol.

I understand all that you've said and feel the same way.

The loops are a sore spot for me. The rush to be THE next top dog in ebook world has turned many into cyber demons, and after dealing with several such people, I said, "screw this shit." and have pulled out of most groups. I post blog and/or contest announcements, but when it's all said and done, I only participate on two or three groups regularly, and I'll pop in to my publisher groups when the need arises, but only then.

From the day I realized I enjoyed writing, I wrote to make myself happy. I got lucky and landed a huge sale with a men's mag and it turned into enjoyment to a source of income. However, the money in ebooks is laughable, and the ones who truly do make hundreds or more a month are R.A.R.E. Anyone can make a PDF nowadays and call themselves a published author.

Heck, even having a literary agent means nothing. It's all about the quickest idea that can be turned into a movie to make fast bucks. I've often said I was born 40 years too late. I should've been born in the 40s or even the 50s so I could've written my material when the publishing hub truly wanted great plots, beautiful style, and memorable characters.

So, now I write to please myself first and to make money second. Sometimes I get lucky and get a nice royalty check and sometimes I don't. I think if all established authors were honest, they'd admit the same thing. You win some, you lose some, and sometimes the work just sits and gathers dust.

Thank you for your honesty for posting this, and as always, I'm blessed to call you my friend.

Posh said...

Ah, Faith, I knew you'd understand this post. LOL.

(I originally wrote "pot" for post but quickly sorted THAT typo in case people got the idea we were ganga-smoking nutters in our spare time.)

God, I just don't care anymore. I've said it before, but this time it's different. I refuse to be swallowed up, to battle through day to day trying to be heard. It's too much work, too upsetting at times, and I just want to write, do my art, love my pals, and mind my own pissing business.

I had an epiphany yesterday, really did, and it's like the sunshine has poured in.

I hope you get this feeling I have, hope everything works out for you the way you want it to. If I could bottle this feeling, like it was a potion, I'd send it across the pond in a bottle. LOL.

:o)

Faith said...

Yes, I understand what feeling you're speaking of, Em. It's a feeling that only those who are ready for it can receive--and it's often those epiphanies that cause them, lol.

C. Zampa said...

With regards to some making more money than others, that is a good question. I have no answer as far from my own experience, but I DO see lots of authors---some making bucus and others saying they're making nada.
And when I compare their writing, I cannot say that one is better than the other. So WHY is one making more? Good question. Really good. I can vouch that it NOT the writing.
That's a way down the road for me. And I say I'm not writing for money. But in the long run, will it really bother me if I don't? Time will tell. So many things to think about.

Natalie Dae said...

Yep, Faith, I wasn't ready to "know" or accept this stuff before.

:O)

Natalie Dae said...

I know what you mean, Carol. The writing is good for those who don't make money and those who do, so if it isn't the writing, I wonder what the hell it is? It's all too much to wade through and I've given up wondering. I just wish those well who make decent money, and hope those who don't will earn more in the future. That's all I can do.

:o)

Lily Harlem said...

POSH! LMAO - I thought Mrs Beckham had stopped by to kick our butts for ogling her husband so much lately!!!

Natalie Dae said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH! I've got my Nat clothes back on. Sod getting told off by her!

:o)